Famously Quiet Birthday Celebration

The last week of August is famously quiet. It can make birthday celebrations tough, especially for children and the young-at-heart.

Still, some pretty remarkable things happened this week as I celebrated my birthday. Thought I’d take a couple of moments to share them:

1. Proved it really is better to give than receive. This year I donated my birthday to charity:water. Along with 24 friends and family members, we raised $1,416 to bring fresh water to people in need. It’s been quite a remarkable experience. I learned some really valuable lessons about fundraising, and about appealing to people. Generosity is an infinite resource. Find a reason to tap into it, and you’ll get back far more than you expect. I beat the goal I set by 42%. I’m really proud of that. 

2. Relived my bar mitzvah 30 years later. Last Sunday Mat took me to see Arcade Fire for my birthday. Arcade Fire brought three saxophones and two Haitian drummers with them. The sound was awesome. They put on the best dance party I’ve enjoyed since the bar mitzvah era. That’s probably not what they set out to do. Still, the Haitian beats were somewhat tribal. And bar mitzvahs bring young men into the tribe. So, there is a connection. Can’t wait to see them again. 

3. Learned how much I like to sitting. Earlier this month, I sought out and found a meditation consultant. It’s like a birthday gift to myself. I’ve really wanted to build a meditation practice for some time. I’ve heard the long-term benefits are fantastic. So far, the short-term benefits aren’t bad either. I’ve learned how much I like sitting, in meditation speak. I also feel some immediate benefits with respect to awareness and discipline. I’m eager to see how this develops, and how it can be applied to other parts of my life.

I guess you’d call this a famously quiet birthday celebration.